This post is a review of my experience with ChaLean Extreme DVD. ChaLean Extreme is a 3 month program with a different rotation each month. The goal of the program is to lift heavy weights to reach fatigue within one set of each exercise.
I purchased this program 3 months ago, hoping to slim down for my wedding. My goal is to lose some inches. Though I would like to lose some vanity weight, I know it is next to impossible with a sedentary job.
Selecting my Wedding Workout Program
There are three criteria I used to select my wedding workout program. The three criteria are as follow:
- The videos must be short (30-40 minutes).
When you count changing and showering, I am tacking on an additional 20 minutes for each workout session. This means that I have to set aside 50-60 minutes daily for exercise. I cannot afford to spend more time than this with a wedding to plan.
- The videos must require minimal equipment investment.
I am tired of purchasing The Firm workout videos because it always comes in a kit with another plastic doodad. What do I do with all these plastic doodad when no other videos utilize them?
- The videos must require no more than 5 days of exercise at most.
Though I am discipline and exercise daily, my discipline is based on my routine. During the work week, I come home, have a snack, workout, have dinner, shower, read for a bit, then go to sleep. Every day. Very predictable. Very dull. But it works for me because I do not need to think about what I need to do. I just do it. It is hard for me to exercise on the weekends because my days are less structured.
The fact that I got the greenlight from ChaLean Extreme for all three criteria is enough for me to semi-religiously follow the three rotations.
ChaLean Extreme Videos
The strength videos in the Burn Phase (Phase 1) and Push Phase (Phase 2) are approximately 30 minutes long. The strength videos in the Lean Phase (Phase 3) are approximately 40 minutes long.
The cardio is the same two videos for all three phases (40 minutes and 30 minutes).
You can find other reviews on the internet that goes into more detail about what is included in the package. I rather spend more time talking about my experience. I have to admit that I really like the personality of the Chalene Johnson in the exercise videos (although I do not understand some of her clothing choices – who wear boots when working out?).
Can you really get a complete workout in 30 minutes with ChaLean?
Absolutely. But only if you use heavy weights. What I mean by heavy weights is that your muscles should be shaking by the 10th rep. If you can lift 10 reps just glistening slightly, then you need to ante up. After all, you are only doing one set, what are you saving your strength for?
I find that if I follow the program as designed, my heart rate is over 150 bpm by the 10th rep, breathing heavy, and sweating profusely. I was hoping to use my existing 3, 5, and 8 pound dumbbells. But halfway through the program, I was doubling them up, using the 3 and 8 or the 5 and 8 to add more resistance. I had to buy heavier weights before I finish Phase 2. Now in Phase 3, I think I should buy heavier dumbbells again, but I am too cheap to spend the money.
Am I a lean, mean muscle building machine?
I wish. I think part of the reason why I did not lose any weight on the scale is that I am building muscle. Not bodybuilder muscles, but enough to see a slight protrusion when I flex my biceps. Gosh, it is such a beautiful sight! I have gotten compliments from my mom and sisters about how great my arms look. And that is no small feat since my mom is quicker to criticize than to compliment.
Another reason why I probably did not slim down as much as I want is that I am hungry ALL THE TIME. Not I am bored, so let me snack. Or I think I might be hungry, so let me snack. It is a STOMACH GROWLING hunger. It is a little embarrassing how I often I need to eat and how much food I am lugging to work. I secretly think that I might be eating more than I really need. I should just track my food with a food journal, but I am too lazy right now. How many prospective brides do you know still eat ice cream or cakes on a weekly basis? I still am. There has been no change in my weight, but I definitely can feel my body composition changing.
Thirdly, I am not following the diet plan. I do not have the time to shop and prepare their meal plans. As I said in the past, food variety is the reason why we fail at dieting. We usually eat the same things each week. I can incorporate small changes, but I cannot overhaul my entire eating habits just for the three months I am on the diet. However, if I do not see any shrinking inches at the end of the program, I will start dieting.
Would I recommend ChaLean Extreme DVD to a beginner?
Yes with the caveat to pay attention to your form. The program is simple enough to follow and the concepts are easy to learn, but since you will be using such heavy weights, your form is extremely important if you want to avoid injuries. I think some women will have a hard time understanding the concept of lifting dumbbells heavier than 5 pounds.
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
9/2/09 – I completed the program today. I am happy with my results. Down 5 pounds overall. Since I am at a healthy weight, dropping 5 pounds of vanity weight have been extremely difficult for me. And my upper body looks amazing. Tone, but not too muscular. I cannot wait to show them off in my wedding dress. I will spend the next three weeks doing mostly cardio and pilates. My body needs to rest a little before I do this program again.
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